Jacks throttle Drake

Fourth-ranked South Dakota State Jackrabbits were able to get their starters some rest going into their bye week as they defeated the Drake Bulldogs 51-10.

The Jacks took a 41-3 lead into half-time, and opened the second half with Dalton Douglas as their quarterback, instead of Taryn Christion.

“It surely rests them, eliminates injuries, more importantly it energizes the whole football team, we had a couple guys get some sacks that aren’t even on the travel bus,” Stiegelmeier said.

Coming into this week, the Jacks made it clear that their focus was to win the game and if they were able to get their starters some rest, that it would be a big advantage for them in the coming weeks. SDSU was able to do just that as they were firing on all cylinders.

Offensively, SDSU was unable to hit the one big play they were looking to do all night – as Taryn Christion just couldn’t connect on deep balls to either Dallas Goedert or Jake Wieneke. Without the big play coming through, the Jackrabbits got it done in other ways as they chipped away with smaller plays and the special teams bailed them out a few times.

“It’s nice to hit the big plays, we can hit short plays, we can hit big plays, we can run,” running back Mikey Daniel said.

Alex Wilde was the leading receiver for the Jackrabbits as he racked up 64 yards on five receptions.

Defensively, the Jackrabbits looked much better than they did against Montana State as they limited the Drake offense to just 324 yards.

Sophomore defensive end, Austin Smenda led the Jacks as he came up with a sack and a half and one and a half tackles for a loss, along to go with four tackles.

“We are trying to stress it a lot, to make it our mission to get to the quarterback, this week we did a lot of drills and coach [Clint] Brown pushed us,” Smenda said.

Freshmen linebacker, Seven Wilson also led the Jackrabbit defense as he came up with six tackles. Redshirt Freshman linebacker, Logan Backhaus recorded the only takeaway of the game, as he intercepted Grant Kraemer in the second quarter.

Special teams for the Jackrabbits proved to be important in deciding the final outcome again this week as redshirt freshman, Cade Johnson led the special teams unit by racking up 113 total yards. Johnson returned a kick for 95 yards that pushed the SDSU lead to 38 points. Johnson was also named the Outstanding Player of the Beef Bowl.  

Larenzo Williams made a play that had a direct impact on the momentum on the game, as he blocked a punt that put the Jackrabbits in scoring position.

Chase Vinatieri was impressive again this week. He connected on his career-long field goal of 51 yards. Vinatieri missed his first field goal attempt which was an extra point.

“Chase needed that field goal at the end to shoot some adrenaline in his heart and veins,” Stiegelmeier said.

Next up for South Dakota State is a bye as they will get an extra week of preparation and rest before they travel to Youngstown, Ohio to take on the Youngstown State Penguins.

Cornerback Jordan Brown said he thinks getting the younger players time on the field is beneficial.

“The games have been pretty light right now so we can’t wait to get into conference play to play the whole game and get all the players ready to go, it’s really great to see the young guys get to play,” Jordan Brown said.